Weeding the garden of your life

September 14, 2012

Remember Norman Vincent Peale?

Yeah, I know. There’s an entire generation or two that doesn’t.

But that’s ok. He was, after all, born in 1898.

Let’s just say he was the first big proponent of the power of positive thinking. Even before it was popular.

In fact, he had a book by that name. Besides being an author, he was a minister.

Positive thinking seemed to work well for him, as he lived until 1993. You do the math.

Today, Louise Hay (no spring chicken, herself) has picked up that mantle, writing prolifically on ways to heal our lives.  She’s big on affirmations and believes there’s power in what we tell ourselves about ourselves.

She advises us to pluck negative thoughts like weeds.

Love that image.

And she’s right.

Negative thoughts suffocate the beauty of life, just as weeds stand in the way of a lovely flower garden.  Sometimes they sneak up on us. But eventually, they crowd out all the good stuff in life.

What negative thoughts can you pluck today to make room for the positive?

One comment on “Weeding the garden of your life
  1. Sylvie says:

    I like the book Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich.

    I believe the positive thinking culture has spawned an unhealthy tendency to deny real and legitimate feelings and contributed to blurring lines between actual negativity and healthily realistic. Often the focus is on thinking positive without mentioning the other steps to becoming enlightened, so there’s a large part of the equation missing.

    I also believe that the continual push to be positive or else contributes to stress and depression because there is pressure to be absolutely positive about everything in order to “fit in” or risk being ostracised for having feelings that are anything less than 110% positive (such as Barbara found when she got breast cancer).

    There are many resources out there that insist one eliminates anyone from your life who is not positive – that is often taken to mean people who challenge you, have differing beliefs, etc etc. The message is often to surround yourself only with people who think like you do, don’t question you or cause you any (healthy) discomfort.

    I was reminded of this recently when I read the comments on another blog (a blog about bipolar depression) where the young lady commenting noted that in her country there has been advertising to educate the public that depression isn’t a sign of weakness and people suffering depression are encouraged to reach out for support. The young lady noted that everyone who she had tried to reach out to told her she was being a downer or she should just eat some chocolate or something.

    Barbara’s book raises many good points that have resulted from the Smile or Die culture. I believe that top of the list are the decline in empathy and the rise of narcissism. It’s a fascinating book and well worth a read.

    This is not to suggest that being grateful for what one has or any other positive reinforcement of one’s self or position in life is wrong. I just personally believe that many have taken it too far and literally turned it into Smile or Die.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.